The highly acclaimed 1996 ‘Deadly Voyage’ movie, produced by Union Pictures and John Goldschmidt’s Viva Films for joint distribution to BBC Films and HBO, has been said to have not achieved its intended impact.
Veteran Ghanaian actor, David Dontoh who featured in the movie says it is sad Ghanaians especially have not been convinced about the dangers involved in “stowing away or migrating under illegal conditions.”
To him, the movie was a big piece of educational material for persons who wanted to seek greener pastures abroad through illegal means. He attributed the movie’s seeming failure to the fact that most Ghanaians did not see it for its message.
Explaining this to Y107.9FM’s Myd Morning Radio show host, Rev Erskine on the YLeaderboard Series, David Dontoh stated, “The story of the film didn’t create the impact the way it was expected in Ghana. They saw the movie because of the actors in there and didn’t pay attention to the message. The focus was on the quality of the movie and but not the plight of stowaways.”
According to him, apart from the message losing its import, the film did not go around enough in Ghanaian cinemas. “Although the movie was shown a number of times on television, it was not a film that went round in cinemas. There was a contract with the guy who brought the story that after five years he will have exclusive rights to show the movie in Africa or West Africa and that led to people not getting the import of the film.”
He believes Ghanaians regardless of many warnings against stowing away still disregard them “because they compare the 2 environments. They think if I go and get the chance to land there, then I will be in a better environment and that is why people run away and people drop dead in the Mediterranean and desert. They go because of the exigencies of life in their home country.”
Hoping to find a better life, dockworker Kingsley Ofasa (Omar Epps) and eight other Ghanaian refugees stow away on a Ukrainian cargo ship headed for the United States via France. The ship’s sailors discover the refugees when they search for water. Because of an earlier violation in New York City, the captain told the crew that they would be responsible for any new fines. The crew decides to avoid any penalty by murdering the stowaways, who must fight to stay alive until docking in France.
The movie starred Omar Epps as Kingsley Ofosu, Joss Ackland as the ship’s captain, Sean Pertwee as Ion Plesin, David Suchet as Andreas Vlachos, David Dontoh, Oscar Provencal, Juliet Asante.